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Weekly COVID-19 Update: Friday, November 13, 2020

From: Office of the State Superintendent of Public Instruction

Date: November 13, 2020

All Coronavirus (COVID-19) SSPI Communications

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From State Superintendent Tony Thurmond

Dear School Communities and Partners:

It’s hard to believe that it has been eight months since many schools in California started making the monumental shift to distance learning in an effort to keep students, educators, and families safe from COVID-19. Today, schools are in different stages of implementing or planning for various learning models as we continue to grapple with the coronavirus and its many impacts.

One constant amid the uncertainty of this year has been the dedication and perseverance of our school employees and educators who have never stopped showing up for students when they have needed us the most.

In that spirit, this week I had the honor of recognizing six amazing classified school employees for their heroic efforts to step up and support California’s students so they can continue to learn. These dedicated employees make sure that kids have healthy meals, safe transportation on school buses, and have someone to talk to during difficult and unexpected changes—helping them stay safe and supported in their lives and in their education.

Read more about these outstanding school employees under “News and Announcements,” below. I guarantee you will feel inspired and hopeful—and we can all use as much of that as possible in these challenging times.

Announcements & News Releases

State Superintendent Tony Thurmond Announces 2020 California Classified School Employees of the Year, National Award Nominee (November 13, 2020)

State Superintendent Tony Thurmond Announces New Publication: Improving Education for Multilingual and English Learner Students (November 12, 2020)

California Department of Education Releases New Attendance Data to Help School Districts Address Chronic Absenteeism (November 10, 2020)

SSPI Virtual Classroom Series: Pedagogical Approaches to Teaching Native American Studies (November 18, 2020, 4-5 p.m.)

As part of the Education to End Hate Initiative, the CDE is hosting a series of virtual classroom and educator professional development sessions that will be broadcast live throughout the state that will be designed to engage students, educators, and families in a wide-ranging dialogue about the many forms of bias young people face across California and ways schools can lead efforts to end discrimination. Teaching Native American Studies will be the first of our virtual classroom series.

Register in advance for this webinar:

Audio Connection: Dial by your location

1-669-900-6833 U.S. (San Jose)

1-408-638-0968 U.S. (San Jose)

1-646-876-9923 U.S. (New York)

Meeting ID: 874 3523 7902

Passcode: 191458

The event will also be broadcast on the CDE Facebook Live page at

Program Updates

Educator Excellence and Equity Division
New World Languages Web Page and Needs Assessment

The Educator Excellence and Equity Division (EEED) has launched a comprehensive new World Languages web page at This new page provides the world languages education community, including program administrators, teachers, and families, easy access to information and resources about world languages programs and practice.

In response to the pandemic and the resulting adjustments made by schools and districts to the delivery of learning activities and instruction, the World Languages web page highlights key distance learning resources from the California Department of Education as well as from our state, national, and international partners in professional learning.

Together with the launch of the web page, the EEED has released the 2020 summary report on the Professional Learning Needs Assessment Survey for World Languages Educators, the first needs assessment specifically addressing the professional learning priorities of the world languages community. This report is intended for a broad audience, and summarizes the data gathered by the survey to inform the field, in particular when considering provision of professional learning support to California’s world languages educators. The report is available on the Updates tab on the World Languages web page.

Multilingual Support Division (formerly the English Learner Support Division)
New Publication: Improving Education for Multilingual and English Learner Students

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond recently announced the release of the new CDE publication, Improving Education for Multilingual and English Learner Students: Research to Practice. The publication is designed to support local educational agencies (LEAs) to implement the English Learner Roadmap Policy in schools and improve instruction for both English learners and other students learning multiple languages.

The CDE Multilingual Support Division led the development of this publication with assistance from well-known and respected experts within their fields. The publication demonstrates how LEAs have implemented research-based practices that positively impact multilingual and English learner students as it relates to social emotional learning, early learning and care, integrated and designated English language development, multilingual education, systems improvement, teacher development, and parent engagement.

The publication is available for free download on the CDE Improving Education for Multilingual and English Learner Students: Research to Practice web page at Printed copies of the publication are available for purchase on the CDE Press Online Ordering web page at


The Multilingual Support Division (formerly English Learner Support Division) is publishing two newsletters during the COVID-19 school closure: the Distance Learning Parent Newsletter and the Multilingual Updates Newsletter. These newsletters are published monthly.

The November Multilingual Updates Newsletter covers resources, assessment, data, early learning, funding, and webinars. The November Distance Learning Parent Newsletter is coming soon.

To read the newsletters, go to the CDE Multilingual Updates Newsletters web page at

Educator Workforce Investment Grant (EWIG): English Learner Roadmap (ELR) Implementation

The two EWIG ELR grantees, Californians Together (CalTog) and the California Association for Bilingual Education (CABE), are available to bring research-based strategies and resources to administrators and educators in order to dramatically accelerate and improve multilingual academic opportunities and outcomes for English learners across California. For more information about CABE’s Multilingual California Project (MCAP) ( and CalTog’s English Learner Roadmap Implementation for Systemic Excellence (EL RISE!) (, please visit the CDE Educator Workforce Investment Grant: EL Roadmap Policy Implementation web page The Upcoming Webinars section below includes details on upcoming EL RISE! and MCAP webinars.

Curriculum Frameworks and Instructional Resources Division
November Instructional Quality Commission Meeting
The California Department of Education (CDE) is proud to submit its latest recommendations to the draft Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum at the November 18–19, 2020, Instructional Quality Commission (IQC) meeting. The agenda item, including CDE's updated recommendations, have been posted on the IQC agenda web page at More information on the Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum can be found on the CDE Model Curriculum Projects web page at

Webinars - Recap and Upcoming

Webinar Recaps

Multilingual CA Project (MCAP) Fall 2020 Webinar Series
Part I: Designated ELD-Sentence Unpacking in Small Groups Promoting Equity for English Learners During Distance and Hybrid Instruction (September 23, 2020)

This session is focused on distance learning teaching strategies for grades K–12 that can be implemented during Designated ELD to actively engage English learners in grade-level core content instruction.

Webinar recording available at

Presentation slides available at

Part II: Promoting Oracy in Spanish Instruction (October 7, 2020)

This session is conducted fully in Spanish with a focus on oral language development in a dual-language classroom. This session will present a strategy that will promote the strategic use of academic language in the classroom.

Webinar recording available at

Presentation slides available at

Part III: How to Design Engaging ELD resources to Maximize EL Student and Parent Access (October 21, 2020)

This session showcases how to maximize English learner access and participation with free designated English language development distance learning resources.

Webinar recording available at

Presentation slides available at

Part IV: Supporting English Learners in the Rural Setting (Wednesday, November 4, 2020)

This session focuses on connecting with learners, learning, and language by providing resources for districts and schools located in rural areas of California. This session uses Considerations for Inclusivity and Support within Designated English Language Development in Remote Learning, a tool developed by statewide partners to highlight best practices.

Webinar recording available at

Presentation slides available at

Upcoming Webinars:

Building A Network of Safety for School Communities Webinar Series (November 17, 2020, and December 15, 2020, 10-11:30 a.m.)

The Student Mental Health Policy Workgroup’s Suicide Prevention Committee is excited to announce the Building A Network of Safety for School Communities Webinar Series which will address topics within the spectrum of suicide prevention to help educators and school staff gain skills and resources for supporting students, at a distance. While the webinars are typically held on the fourth Tuesday each month, the webinar dates are changed to November 17 and December 15 due to the Thanksgiving and winter breaks. Registration must be completed for each webinar at:

Tuesday, November 17, 2020: A Leader's Guide to Fostering Mental Wellness & Building School Community Cultures of Connection will focus on ensuring the well-being of staff. The presenters will discuss the role of the administrator in conducting staff wellness checks and implementing workplace stigma reduction. Participants will receive concrete examples to build school community cultures of connection.

Multilingual California Alliance Project (MCAP) Fall 2020 Webinar Series
Part V: Designated and Integrated SLD with GLAD® en español Pictorial Input Chart (November 18, 2020, 3:15 p.m.)

This session will provide an overview of GLAD® en español. We will focus on one key instructional strategy which will strongly support Spanish language development (SLD), and biliteracy within a dual language setting. We will explore application in a biliterate environment where the target language is Spanish. We will highlight how this strategy can be utilized with both designated and integrated SLD. This session will be conducted in both Spanish and English.

Registration link:

Part VI: Using an Equity Lens for Writing Instruction (December 2, 2020, 3:15 p.m.)

This FREE session will present a strategy that can be implemented during remote instruction. Topics are currently being developed in county office partnership.

Registration link:

English Learner Roadmap Aligned LCAP Toolkit Workshops: Using Research-based Tools to Promote Equity for English Learners (Dates Vary by County from November 12, 2020 to March 18, 2021)

This interactive workshop will help LEA teams design an LCAP that is aligned to the research-based CA English Learner Roadmap policy and focuses on identifying actions, services, programs, and resources that ensure equitable opportunities and outcomes for English Learners. The training will help LEA teams to identify the pitfalls inherent in the Dashboard data that mask the achievement of ELs, and more effectively understand the achievement and status of their ELs.

Participants will engage with the resources included in the Toolkit and explore the ways they might be used to identify and analyze the needs of their English Learners. Alignment with EL Roadmap principles and elements will be highlighted. Specifically, the English Learner Research Aligned Rubrics will be reviewed to understand how they can be used as a tool to:

  1. Analyze the strengths and limitations of their proposed English Learners programs and services in their existing LCAP
  2. Prioritize focus areas to refine and bolster future annual LCAP development, refinement, and updates.

For more details, please contact the county offices of education that are offering these workshops:

  • Santa Cruz
  • Imperial
  • Solano
  • Orange
  • San Diego
  • Sacramento
  • Riverside
  • Contra Costa
  • San Mateo
  • Tulare
  • Ventura
  • Kern
  • Santa Clara
  • Yolo
Questions:   California Department of Education |
Last Reviewed: Monday, November 16, 2020
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